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Finding Courses

All credits taken during a Penn State approved education abroad program, are processed as course equivalencies (not as transfer credit). If you are participating in a Penn State faculty-led or an embedded program, the courses are listed on the program brochure page on the Education Abroad website.

To ensure that credits are earned as expected and are displayed on your transcript, complete the following steps.

Step 1: Ensure that you have an updated graduation plan. Your academic adviser can help you update your plan.

Step 2: Complete the Course Planning Tool. The easiest way to approach the course planning tool is to identify the requirements you would like to fulfill during your time abroad, then identify courses at your host institution that you think meet those requirements. List your preferred courses and several alternatives on the form. You do not need to submit this form; however, this will guide your planning.

It is important to note that you must be registered for the equivalent of 12 credits while on a semester abroad program. (Some programs may require a minimum of 15 credits.)

Step 3: Review the historical course list for the program abroad on each brochure page on the Education Abroad website. These lists will show you what courses have already been reviewed and the equivalencies. These are not necessarily the only courses offered.

If a course is already listed on the historical course list and it ends in a *99 or *97 the course does not have an equivalent and can sometimes be used to fulfill an elective or general education requirement. These courses will need to be submitted via a course substitution request.

Step 4: Review the course offerings for your program on the host program’s website. These are linked from the brochure page for each program. If the courses for your term away are not yet available, base your selections on the most recent information. Make sure you are looking at courses offered in the correct term; offerings abroad vary between fall, spring, and academic year just as they do here at Penn State.

Links to the host program’s or institution’s course offerings can usually be found on the program brochure page under the “academics” tab at the Education Abroad website.

Step 5: Submit a course equivalency form. For courses taken abroad to appear on your Penn State transcript, each course must be given a course equivalency. Please visit the Academics section of the Education Abroad website for information on the course equivalency process.

The only courses that do not need to be submitted via a course equivalency form are courses taught by Penn State faculty or are courses that have already been reviewed and are listed on the historical course list. All other courses that have been taken or will be taken on a program abroad should be reviewed through this process.

Step 6:

Course Substitutions. To find out how a *99 course or other non-direct course can be used, you will want to submit a substitution request. This can be done before or once you return from your program abroad. You must have a Penn State course code for it to be reviewed. Follow those directions from step 5. 

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The mission of Global Engineering Engagement is to create an environment that embraces the values of international education, where access to global exposure and opportunities to develop cross-cultural competence is pervasive. We believe that it is within our reach to ensure that all engineering students can become internationally engaged.

Global Engineering Engagement

College of Engineering

The Pennsylvania State University

208 Hammond Building

University Park, PA 16802